Motorized Rehabilitation Shoes Put Elderly on Shaky Ground to Improve BalanceBy Quick, Darren; Gizmag,
Publication Date: March 27, 2011
Article describes a therapeutic tool for improving balance in seniors and people with brain injuries. The Re-Step system consists of a pair of training shoes that incorporates 4 motors on the bottom of each shoe to make it more difficult for the wearer to walk. The system alters the angle and inclination of the sole of the shoes in a random way, which causes the brain to work harder to maintain balance. This in turn results in an improvement in function in the parts of the brain responsible. In addition to the motorized soles, the Re-Step shoes also measure and record the parameters of the wearer’s gait, which can be analyzed by specialized software when the shoes are connected to a computer. This software tracks the wearer’s progress and makes recommendations via a user interface that is easy enough for elderly patients to use at home. The shoes are programmed to match the requirements of each user and the training program changes as training progresses. The Re-Step system is the product of the Self Mobility Improvement in the Elderly by Counteracting Falls (SMILING) project at Scotland’s University of Strathclyde in collaboration with the Israeli company Step of Mind Ltd (SoM). SoM initiated the system following research showing that a healthy brain functions with a certain lack of order and that damaged brains are actually too orderly, causing difficulty in walking. The article includes a link to a video demonstrating the Re-Step system.
Published by: Gizmag Pty Ltd (Website:http://www.gizmag.com/)
Link to text: http://www.gizmag.com/re-step-motorized-training-shoes/18240/
Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9QmhU-ZYOk&feature=player_embedded